Easter Yummies

I may be 26 years old and have delusions of adulthood, but darn it – I love getting little holiday gifts from my parents! Case in point: my Easter “basket,” which arrived the Saturday before Easter. We got a package slip saying it was at the office, and I was so excited to go retrieve it that I went out in public in – gasp – sweatpants. Which I never ever do, because I think it looks slovenly and sloppy. But I figured I’d slip into the office, grab my package from the floor, and slip out without being seen. When I reached the office around 3:30, I was dismayed to see a sign saying it closed at 3:00 and wasn’t open on Easter Sunday. I peered in the windows to see if any of the staff were around but saw no one. Crushed, I turned towards home.

Suddenly I heard someone call my name. “Kelly?” I turned around. It was Nick, a friendly member of the staff, and he was holding a box. “I thought that was you,” he said as I walked eagerly towards him to grab my package. “But you were wearing sweats, and I’ve never seen you in sweats!”

So much for slipping out unseen.

Anyway, I got my package, opened it, and discovered lots of tasty treats.

easter-basket_8636268764_oMama included a couple of protein bars, snack bars, a cute dish towel, dark chocolate bunnies, and jelly beans. I was very pleasantly surprised by those NuGo protein bars – instead of being gritty, like many protein bars, they’ve got a fun crunchy texture thanks to some puffed rice. They also taste more like candy bars than protein bars because of their high-quality dark chocolate. The mocha one you see up front was my favorite. I knew it contained a decent amount of bona-fide coffee because my pee smelled all coffee-like after I ate it. TMI? Oops.

I also really liked the Rise energy bar (I haven’t eaten the breakfast one yet*). It’s like a Larabar with a few more ingredients, giving it a more diverse texture than that of a Larabar.

The Surf Sweets jelly beans were fruity and sweet without being too sugary, although I discovered that they’re not actually vegan (darn confectioner’s glaze – leave the bugs alone!). And, of course, the dark chocolate bunnies are delicious because, um, they’re dark chocolate.

Yay for Easter baskets! And yay for Easter celebrations in general. That Easter brunch I attended was full of even more delicious treats, including some amazing tofu mini-quiches and muffins bursting with dried fruit. I brought along a batch of macaroons, which I stupidly forgot to photograph when they were all plated up. Instead, you get this crappily lit photo of them just after baking.

macaroons_8635163099_o

I used this recipe for my first-ever macaroon-making endeavor, and it was quite successful. I’ll definitely make these again!

* Upon a closer look at the ingredient list, I discovered that the breakfast bar contains honey. :( I gave it away.

Eggless Easter: Asparagus & Mushroom Quiche

Mom and I have been keepin’ a big secret for the past month and a half – we didn’t tell anyone else in my family that I was flying home for the weekend. We had fun planning ways to surprise my dad and my sister (my brother’s in Denmark on a study abroad program, lucky boy!), and they were both shocked and delighted to see me. It was pretty hilarious, too – I dressed up as my sister and curled up on the couch with her laptop, and when my dad came home, I pretended I was her. I can do a passable impression of her voice, and since she always wears a hoodie with the hood up, he couldn’t see my face. So he thought I was Rhiannon, and then was utterly confused when the real Rhiannon came into the living room and greeted him. Muahaha! Classic.

The whole weekend was really pretty wonderful. Some of our family from Maine came down, and Mom, Rhiannon, my cousin, and I talked into the wee hours of the morn on the night before Easter. On Easter morning, Rhiannon and I hid candy-filled plastic eggs for the kids, who enjoyed  the hunt. Heck, I enjoyed it too – it was 65+ degrees out! After all that egg hiding and hunting, though, we were ready for dinner.

Dinner was pretty momentous because we had a totally vegetarian meal. Given that at least one of my aunts is a pretty diehard omnivore, this was really notable. Dad made stuffed manicotti; some were stuffed with cheese and then others were stuffed with a vegan spinach, artichoke, and mushroom mixture. All our side veggies were vegan, too. I contributed by cooking up a really impressive recipe from the FatFree Vegan Kitchen – a delightful Asparagus and Mushroom Quiche.

Ain't no eggs here, baby!

I’ll admit that I used a store-bought regular crust instead of making the brown rice crust, but other than that (and a sad lack of onion powder in my parents’ pantry!) I followed Susan’s recipe down to the letter. I was really pleased with the results, too – I loved the quiche’s creamy texture. Mom thought this was fabulous; she enjoyed it even more than I did!

Even though none of the desserts were vegan (I dropped the ball there!), my aunt made me vegan candied nuts and the Easter bunny provided me with lots of vegan goodies. My Easter basket was filled with vegan fruit snacks, little chocolate eggs, black licorice bites, and a little baggie of carob-spirulina “energy chunks” from a local natural foods store. The Easter bunny also gave me a pair of sandals, some seeds for the garden I’ll be planting soon (!!!), and a cute little carrying case for my GPS, handmade by my mommy. :)

All in all, I had a really wonderful Easter break. The only bad part was catching a flight out of Rhode Island at 6:00 Monday morning, getting into Madison at 10:15, and then heading into work for noon. Yuck-o-rama! Such is the life of a working woman, however.

Anyway, hope that those of you who celebrate it had a lovely holiday! Ciao!

I could go for a piece of this right now... too bad the leftovers are in RI!